Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program  |  P.O. Box 644017  |  Vero Beach FL  32964

Please find an electronic copy of our latest issue of "Sharings". As the title says, our newsletter "shares" our activities over the past few months, shares the good work of our outstanding volunteers, shares our worthy grant recipients and shares our future focus. To access the latest "Sharings" please click on the icon below.
October 2017
May 2018
October 2018 Previous Issues of Sharings

On November 14 the Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program was recognized as the Outstanding Group Supporting Philanthropy by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Indian River County Chapter during National Philanthropy Day ceremonies.  This is a truly wonderful award, for which the Veteran’s Council of IRC under the leadership of Sam Kouns nominated Outreach.


The award recognizes the work of Outreach in providing financial support to non-profits in Indian River County, where last season we provided over $413,000 in grants to help our neighbors in need.  This award is for all our donors, over 300, for all our volunteers, over 100, plus Corporate Sponsors and is the result of leadership from our seven past presidents (Peg Keller, Liz Melnick, Mike Harrell, John Phipps, Dave Warren, Bill Hamlin, Susanne Sweeny and Doug Sweeny) during our 17-year history.


































L-R: Pat Geyer, Veterans Council of IRC, Dale Jacobs, President, Susanne & Doug Sweeny, Past Presidents of GH Community Outreach Program, Inc.

Missing is: Sam Kouns, President of the Veterans Council of Indian River County which nominated Outreach for the award



It is added confirmation that the Grand Harbor community is filled with caring and generous members and that we truly care about the folks who live outside our front gate who are much less fortunate than we are.  Outreach is an organization we can all be very proud of, and it’s success and tonight’s recognition is only because of all you do, your leadership and your commitment to our mission.

It is my honor to be a part of the Outreach program.


Dale Jacobs



TCPalm Article


Camp Haven welcomes $13,000 grant from Grand Harbor Community Outreach

Camp Haven, For Luminaries Published 9:54 p.m. ET June 27, 2018

Please click on photo above for complete TCPalm Article

Veterans Council of Indian River County awards first scholarships to Bailey Schlitt, Amanda Resmondo Catherine Caddell,


For Luminaries Published 3:15 p.m. ET July 4, 2018



(Photo: Veterans Council of Indian River County/For Luminaries)


The Veterans Council of Indian River County Scholarship Fund was launched in partnership with Indian River State College in February 2018 and was created to offer financial assistance to the dependents of veterans seeking higher education.

























The $12,000 Scholarship Fund included contributions from multiple organizations that support Indian River County veterans.


At the June 5, 2018 meeting of the Veterans Council, the first two scholarships were awarded in the presence of 24 veteran groups and civic officials, including Indian River County Commissioner Joe Flescher and Rob Medina, Military Affairs representative from Florida Congressman Bill Posey’s office.


The Military Officers Association of America(MOAA) was one of the veteran organizations contributing to the Veterans Council Scholarship Fund. Jim Rannazzisi, Indian River chapter president, presented the first scholarship certificate to Bailey Schlitt, who is enrolled at Indian River State College's business degree program. Schlitt is the granddaughter of a veteran who earned a Purple Heart in World War II’s Battle of the Bulge.


The Grand Harbor Community Outreach Program, another organization contributing to the Veterans Council Scholarship Fund, was represented by Kathy Tonkel, Philanthropy chair. Tonkel gave the second scholarship to Amanda Resmondo, who will soon enter her sophomore year at IRSC. Resmondo is currently working at three jobs while studying dental hygiene. Her father, Frank, is an Army veteran who served in Germany.


Veterans Council President Col. Sam Kouns (U.S. Army, retired) said, "These two scholarships demonstrate the beginning of good things the community can do for dependents of local veterans and provide a meaningful way of saying thank you to those veterans for their service. The Veterans Council Scholarship Fund is off to a great start!"


The Veterans Council of Indian River County is as a non-government, collaborative 501(c)(3) established in 1987 to support veterans and their families. The council provides emergency financial assistance, transition assistance, resource connection and transportation services to the VA Medical Center in West Palm Beach and to appointments locally. Learn more about the Veterans Council at

Grand Harbor Community Outreach Philanthropy Chair Kathy Tonkel, left, presents a scholarship to Amanda Resmondo, with her mother, Tracey Resmondo. (Photo: Veterans Council of Indian River County/For Luminaries)

Grand Harbor Outreach reaches $4 million in donations

Published TC Palm, 2:50 p.m. ET May 1, 2018 | Updated 9:53 a.m. ET May 23, 2018

Bill LaViolette, YourNews contributor

VERO BEACH -- Grand Harbor Community Outreach is celebrating its 17th year of existence, record contributions and record grant awards of over $400,000 to 34 Indian River County agencies.


Most noteworthy is with this year's distribution of funds, Outreach has passed the $4 million mark in addressing the unmet needs of groups and individuals in the areas of health, family stability, education and human services, youth mentoring and job training in Indian River County.


The year’s highlights included record attendance at all its major fundraisers, extraordinary increases in annual fund contributions and recognition and awards by several associations involved in charity.


In December, Outreach was one of a select group of fundraisers recognized by the Association of Non-Profit Professionals as a top IRC Group Philanthropist and in January was named the Child Advocate of the Year by the Children’s Home Society of Florida.


Since its inception Outreach's two major value propositions have not changed:


1) 100 percent of donor’s gifts go to those in need, a result of intensive work by dozens of Grand Harbor volunteers and the generosity of 20 corporate sponsors.


2) Every grant applicant in IRC is carefully vetted to ensure that the agency, its program and its impact on the community are validated.


Grand Harbor has always been a giving community. But, beginning a few years ago, there was a significant uplift in the level of donations to Outreach.


It began when the county designated Gifford as one of fie "pockets of poverty," warranting increased attention by major funders. Outreach stepped up, encouraging many of its partner agencies outside of Gifford to expand their programs into the area.


The Alzheimer’s & Parkinsons Association, Special Equestrians, and others did so. And, Outreach entered into a close partnership with Gifford community leaders and the Gifford Youth Achievement Center.


As a result, the GHCOP support model shifted from food and basic needs to education, jobs and a "hands-up" effort. While the fundraising results have been fulfilling and enable more support, the real measure of success is in the number of lives touched and transformed by Outreach.


GHCOP estimates that more than 2,100 individuals including veterans, homeless families and at-risk youth are helped each and every year.


Says Doug Sweeny, Grand Harbor’s Outreach president, “We are helping to close both the economic gap and the dignity gap of individuals and families in need throughout Indian River County. At the same time, we’re strengthening the sense of community of Grand Harbor as we work together to serve a cause larger than ourselves."

Child Advocate Award presented to Grand Harbor Community Outreach

On a chilly 45 degree January 18th afternoon, Dale and Betty Jacobs hosted a warm and cozy reception at their beautiful home.


The occasion was in honor of The Children’s Home Society of Florida presenting their highest honor, the prestigious David and Lorraine Thomas Child Advocate Award for the Treasure Coast to Grand Harbor Community Outreach (GHCOP). Mr. Thomas was the founder of Wendy’s and a lifelong advocate for children.

The award was presented by CHS’s Executive Director, Sabrina Sampson, to President Doug Sweeny.


GHCOP was recognized for its long standing commitment to children’s issues, including over 10 years of support for the CHS Transition Living Program (housed in Vero Beach) which provides housing and living skills focused on getting a HS degree or GED and employment, and outreach to homeless young adults who have aged out of foster care. GHCOP has provided over $70,000 to CHS plus Christmas gifts every year for their clients since 2003.


The attractive award was handcrafted in pewter, mounted on marble and is signed/limited by artist M.K. Shannon.  In accepting this award on behalf of GHCOP, President Sweeny, thanked all of our hard working volunteers and generous donors for allowing us the opportunity to help so many people.  The beautiful award will be on display in the Grand Harbor Golf and Beach Club Lobby. We want to thank Sabrina and CHS for this wonderful honor.


The Treasure Coast Division, which Sabrina Sampson oversees, is one of 12 divisions of CHS which is the oldest (115 years) private non-profit agency providing statewide children’s services in Florida.  To learn more about CHS click on photo to the left.

Grand Harbor Community Outreach Honored on National Philanthropy Day The Association of Fundraising Professionals of Indian River County hosted “A Night At The Museum - Where Philanthropy Comes to Life” on National Philanthropy Day. The event, held at the beautiful Vero Beach Museum of Art the evening of November 15th recognized six categories of philanthropy in Indian River County: Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy; Unsung Hero’s; Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser; Outstanding Group Supporting Philanthropy; Outstanding Corporate Philanthropist; and Outstanding Individual Philanthropist. G.H. Connunity Outreach was graciously nominated by the Education Foundation of Indian River County in the Outstanding Group Supporting Philanthropy category which honored groups that demonstrate an outstanding commitment of generosity through direct financial support or volunteer support, has demonstrated outstanding charitable responsibility, and whose generosity encourages others to take philanthropic leadership roles in an organization and/or the community. We were among a group of nine distinguished organizations. Collectively, this group, last year alone, raised over $1,600,000 that positively impacted people lives throughout IRC. We are proud that G.H Community Outreach contribution was nearly 24% of the total alone. We thank our wonderful donors who year after year, create new opportunities for those less fortunate…the true meaning of Philanthropy. We would like to congratulate the Indian River IMPACT 100 who won this category's honor.

Vero Beach Magazine Article

July, 2018